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Ringering new coordinator for Sunflower early ed, preschool
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Shelby Ringering, new coordinator of Sunflowers Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool, shares in a preschool activity with Ireland, left, and Blade. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Shelby Ringering is bringing a comprehensive mix of the professional and the personal to her new position at Sunflower Diversified Services. Ringering is the new coordinator of the non-profit agency’s Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool.
Since a smooth transition is a priority, her predecessor, Cathy Estes, is still serving as a consultant.
“As we collaborate on this transition, we are focusing on the most important thing – meeting the needs of families,” Ringering said. “Cathy is playing a vital role in this effort.”
On the professional side of Ringering’s background is her previous position as preschool teacher and program director at St. John’s Child Development Center in Ellinwood.
She has a degree in early childhood education from Sterling College; she is currently working on a degree in elementary and special education, also at Sterling. Next will be her master’s in early childhood special education.
Now for the personal side.
Ringering and her husband, Paul, have a 20-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism at a young age. Sunflower Diversified, which serves children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, played a major role in their son’s success, she said.
“People said he would never attend a regular classroom and would have to be institutionalized at some point,” Ringering recalled. “Now, he needs no special education and is a sophomore at Sterling College majoring in secondary education.
“This is a direct result of Sunflower’s intervention,” she continued. “They can change a child’s life.”
Ringering’s son is just one example of their family’s experience with Sunflower. They have seven children, ages 4 through 20, and one foster daughter.
“We have seen first hand how important Sunflower’s early intervention is to children with delays,” Ringering commented. “The staff has the expertise to enhance the lives of children and their families. It is such a privilege to be in a position to help change someone’s whole world.”
Ringering noted she is working closely with Shari Schneider, preschool director. In addition to the day-to-day operations, the coordinator is also responsible for complying with state and federal regulations and overseeing 14 other employees.
Estes, former coordinator, said families should be thrilled with Ringering’s new leadership.
“Shelby brings high energy and insight to both the early ed center and preschool,” Estes said. “Like everyone else here, her goal is serving children and their families. Shelby has the experience and the special gift of caring that are critical to this job.”